martes, octubre 18, 2005

Can’t win…. (100?) 

I got a message at the beginning of the month with the following:

Subject: Su propuesta para el Congreso Virtual Hispano

Estimada xxx: Su propuesta para el Primer Congreso Virtual Hispano fue considerada y evaluada de acuerdo a los criterios del congreso. Sin embargo, lamentamos comunicarle que la misma no fue recomendada para ser parte de las presentaciones. Gracias por su interés y le invitamos a unirse al Congreso Virtual como participante. Saludos, Comité Organizador ================== Dear xxxx: Your proposal for the 1st Hispanic Virtual Congress was considered and evaluated according to the criteria set up for the Congress. However, unfortunately your proposal was not recommended to be part of the presentations. Thank you for your interest and we invite you to join the Virtual Congress as an attendee or participant. Respectfully, The Organizing Committe

And I thought, well, well here I am rejected by the organizing committee without a clue about the established criteria they state being followed. It in not fun to be rejected, and missing an opportunity to understand the bases of their decision. I can go into a diatribe ... about how fortunate it is to have my time available to do instead the many other things I need to do…. or about how generally the success rates for submissions are within a ratio of 3:1. But, as I face dissapointment will share here the most useful consideration of the experience of “Dealing with Criticism” I found in the following book:

The Artist's Way
By: Julia Cameron
Publisher: The Putnam Publishing Group, 1992;ISBN #:0-87477-694-5

and I quote:

"There are certain rules of the road useful in dealing with any form of criticism:

  1. Receive the criticism all the way through and get it over with.
  2. Jot down notes to yourself on what concepts or phrases bother you.
  3. Jot down notes on what concepts or phrases seem useful.
  4. Do something very nurturing for yourself—read an old good review or recall a compliment.
  5. Remember that even if you have made a truly rotten piece of art, it may be a necessary stepping-stone to your next work. Art matures spasmodically and requires ugly-duckling growth stages.
  6. Look at the criticism from your past—particularly shaming childhood criticism? Acknowledge to yourself that the current criticism is triggering grief over a long-standing wound.
  7. Write a letter to the critic—not to be mailed, most probably. Defend your work and acknowledge what was helpful, if anything, in the criticism proffered.
  8. Get back on the horse. Make an immediate commitment to do something creative.
  9. Do it. Creativity is the only cure for criticism." (p.73)

So there! As I get the saddle ready, I leave you with these rules. And soon with better news about the presentations in the Webhead’s Convergence which were accepted and will be taking center stage mid-November.

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This quote has been really helpful for me in my pain over dealing with university criticisms of my papers. Thank you, La Guru!
I posted this on the uni mailing list, and the response was good! One person suggested adding it to the student handbook, and Grace added a new idea:
Always remember that you are valued and terrific no matter what. Criticism and praise is about what you do, not what you are.

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